Evaluation of Ministry-funded Domestic Violence Programmes

A report commissioned by the Ministry of Justice into its family violence safety and non-violence programmes has found they are effective in reducing reoffending and helping victims to feel safer.

The Ministry commissioned the report early last year to examine the programmes which have been offered to victims and perpetrators of family violence since 2014. The report, An evaluation of the Ministry of Justice-funded domestic violence programmes [PDF, 1.8 MB], captures useful insights about what helps and hinders participants, including what enables a positive outcome for Māori whānau.

Some key findings of the report were:

  • Non-violence programmes reduced reoffending in participant offenders.
  • Non-violence programmes had a positive effect on participants and their whānau, including helping them understand their personal triggers and teaching them self-control.
  • Participants in safety programmes felt safer and their mental health, self-confidence and sense of self-worth improved.
  • Skilled facilitators were critical to participants’ successfully engaging in a programme.
  • Cultural knowledge, values, tools and practice models produced positive outcomes for Māori.
  • Most participants in non-violence programmes completed them.

The report also found ways the programmes could be improved including:

  • Improve child victims’ access to the safety programmes.
  • Improve access to joint counselling services for couples who want to stay together.
  • Independent oversight of the training of programme providers and family violence practitioners.
  • Specialist training for interpreters.

The Ministry plans to use the report’s findings to improve the programmes.

Background to safety and non-violence programmes

Providers contracted by the Ministry offer safety programmes to adult and child victims of family violence to help them stay safe from further harm, when a Protection Order is in place.

Providers contracted by the Ministry offer non-violence programmes to perpetrators of family violence under a Protection Order to help them change their violent behaviour and reduce reoffending. Attendance at a programme can be ordered by the court.

There are Kaupapa Māori safety and non-violence programmes which aim to restore mana and tapu so participants and their whānau can lead lives free of family violence.

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